Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, June 29th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, national, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: peter thiel
This must be bring out your dead week. The ongoing Todd Barclay saga is such that there is almost no news that could replace it. But this particular release will I am sure will attract a lot of attention.
I blogged about the grant of citizenship to Peter Thiel earlier this year. My post said this:
A dump of papers at 5 pm on a Wednesday the same day that the election date is announced is a somewhat cynical abuse of the OIA system. But that is what happened. Yesterday at 5 pm the papers relating to Peter Thiel’s grant of citizenship were released.
And what an unusual picture they paint. Mr Thiel did not qualify for a grant of citizenship. To do so he is meant to actually live in the country for a reasonably substantial amount of time and it appears he has spent only limited amounts of time here. But he thought that his incredible wealth and his generosity ought to qualify him for a grant of citizenship. His entreprenuial skill incuded investing in Facebook and creating Paypal and writing Xero a big cheque. He claimed that being a New Zealand citizen would “enable him to represent the country on the international stage and give him greater confidence in mobilising New Zealand’s talented entrepreneurs”.
It was recommended by the Department that his application be approved and it was.
DIA blanked out the number of days that Thiel actually spent in New Zealand. He was meant to spend 1,350 days or about 74% of the time in New Zealand. For some reason DIA thought the information should not be released.
The reason offered was to protect the privacy of a natural person. All sorts of other information concerning him was released including the fact that he had visited New Zealand four times.
Radio New Zealand took the matter to the Ombudsman and he stated that the public interest in the matter clearly outweighed Thiel’s right to privacy. The information has been released today.
How many days did Thiel spend in New Zealand during the past 5 years?
Drum roll …
He was in New Zealand 0.6575% of the time. I repeat that normal policy required him to be in New Zealand at least 74% of the time.
What has he done for New Zealand to deserve such exceptional treatment?
You have to wonder why the information was withheld, particularly as the number of times he had visited New Zealand was disclosed. Political embarassment is not and should never be grounds for withholding official information.